Elbit Systems has launched its Hermes 45 small tactical unmanned air vehicle (UAV) at this year’s Paris show.

The UAV – news of which first emerged in 2017 – is designed to provide enhanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) for brigade- and division-level formations, as well as naval squadrons.

Company data indicates the Hermes 40 has a maximum take-off weight of 70kg (154lb) with a 20kg payload. The service ceiling is 18,000ft, with endurance claimed to be over 20h.

“The system can provide long endurance, close to 24 hours, and at the same time carry two or three payloads, fused into one intelligence picture,” says Hagi Topolanski, chief executive of Elbit Systems UAV division.

Topolanski says that the platform is now at an advanced stage of development, with the company likely to offer it to customers next year.

The platform on display at this year’s show integrates a small electro-optical/infrared turret with optional laser designator for guiding precision munitions from other platforms. Elbit Systems says the internal payload bay can support a combination of sensors including marine radar, electronic warfare assets and communications relay equipment.

Operation of the Hermes 45 can be carried out by a two-person crew – customers can specify what type of ground control station they require – with launch carried out using a rail system and recovery via an inflatable net and automated spot landing system. “That will improve the survivability of the aircraft itself,” says Topolanski.

This also means the system can be used in a ship-based role, including long-endurance maritime patrol missions.

Line-of-sight operations can be carried out up to 107nm (200km) away, while a SATCOM link would ensure unlimited operational range.

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Source: FlightGlobal.com